Can Govt Initiate Disciplinary Action Against Alok Verma?

Alok Verma defied a government order asking him to join as DG Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards. 

Updated31 Jan 2019, 08:50 PM IST
India
3 min read

Ousted CBI director Alok Verma is likely to face departmental action for defying a government order asking him to join as chief of Fire Services on Thursday, 31 January, the day of his superannuation, and this may include suspension of pensionary benefits, officials told PTI.

According to the officials, this non-compliance of the directive amounted to violation of service rules for all India services officers. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had directed Verma to take charge as director general of the Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards on Thursday, 30 January.

As Verma did not take up the new assignment as directed, he is likely to face departmental action which may include suspension of pensionary benefits, MHA officials told PTI.

Superannuated From Post of CBI Director on 10 Jan: Verma to MHA

Verma, who defied a government order asking him to join as chief of Fire Services on Thursday, 30 January, reportedly told the Ministry of Home Affairs that he had superannuated from the post of CBI director on 10 January, officials told PTI.

The Ministry of Home Affairs had earlier confirmed to The Quint that a letter was sent to the former CBI director Alok Verma on 30 January, for him to join the post of Director General Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards.

Verma had immediately responded to the letter from MHA dated 30 January, reiterating his position that he had already retired from the service on 31 July, 2017 and was serving the tenure of director CBI. In his response to R S Vaidya, Deputy Secretary in the home ministry, Verma said his date of birth from the official records is 14 July, 1957 which implies that date of superannuation was 31 July, 2017.

“The undersigned has already crossed the age of 61 years and continued to serve even after his superannuation date as Director, CBI which is a tenure post for a period of two years.” 
Alok Verma wrote in a letter accessed by PTI

In the letter, he added that since he ceased to be director of CBI from the evening of 10 January, 2019 and has already crossed 60 years, he stands superannuated from the post of CBIdiirector with effect from the evening of the same day, PTI reported.

On 10 January, Verma was moved out of the CBI by the High-Powered Committee and transferred to Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guard. The very next day, Verma resigned and told the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to consider him retired.

Verma received the letter from the DoPT on Wednesday, 30 January, just a day before the date of his superannuation as Director, which was 31 January.

A source in the Ministry of Home Affairs said:

“The process of sending the letter takes time. So it could be just a coincidence that the letter reached Alok Verma on 30 January.”
MHA Source

What Next?

Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards informed The Quint that Verma had not joined as the DG. Now the question is, what action can the government take against him?

Clearly, the government didn’t accept his resignation on 11 January, that’s why he was asked to join the service immediately.

Now that Verma has not obeyed orders, can the government initiate a disciplinary inquiry into the matter?

“It is up to the government whether it want to take a disciplinary action against Verma. Of course, Verma can challenge it in the court.” 
Former Special Director CBI

Verma was sent on forced leave by the government in October 2018. On the Supreme Court’s order, a CVC inquiry was conducted into the bribery allegations him by the then-special director of CBI, Rakesh Asthana. On completion of the inquiry, the Supreme Court reinstated him in January 2019 and left it to the selection committee to decide on the remaining days of his tenure as CBI director.

By a 2-1 majority, Verma was transferred as DG Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards, while Nageshwar Rao was made the acting CBI Director.

The selection committee will meet on 1 February to decide on the appointment of the new CBI Director.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Published: 31 Jan 2019, 07:16 AM IST

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